Dozens of leaders from parish, district and county councils across East Suffolk met last night for the Sizewell C community forum held in Stratford St Andrew to discuss the latest proposals for the proposed nuclear power station with the project team.
The meeting follows the final public exhibition which was held earlier this week in Trimley St Martin with the formal consultation period continuing until 29 March 2019. Over 4,000 local people have visited one of the 14 exhibitions which launched on 4 January.
The community forum heard from Sizewell C project development director Jim Crawford about changes to the proposals since Stage 2 consultation covering key areas such as transport and environmental mitigation.
Jim told local parish leaders that we are now consulting on two alternative strategies to support freight movement:
- Rail-led – direct access to the main site for five trains a day using the Green rail route and a road bypass of Theberton OR
- Road-led – a new Sizewell link road from the A12 to the B1122 and a freight management facility to the east of Ipswich, along with two train a day to Sizewell Halt or a new rail siding throughout construction. The new Sizewell link road would reduce traffic on the B1122 by 90% at peak construction in Middleton Moor and Theberton.
The group heard why a jetty was no longer proposed for environmental reasons:
- A jetty capable of receiving and handling the bulk of the construction material (i.e. a marine led strategy) would be a very large structure extending 800 metres offshore and would require in the order of 1200 piles
- The drilling of the piles over the 12 month construction period would cause sustained noise and vibration impacts likely to have significant effects on marine mammals and fish. The southern North Sea is a protected area for harbour porpoise (a candidate SAC) and protected bird species prey on the fish.
- Additionally, as the jetty would need to be in place for 8 to 10 years it would act as a groyne – causing sediment build up and potential for erosion either side.
Parish Councils asked how they could engage more in the planning process and Carly Vince, EDF Energy Chief Planning Officer, advised: “EDF Energy has provided funding to Planning Aid England to provide bespoke, independent and free guidance and advice to local parish and town councils during the consultation.”
Community Forum Chairman added that the feedback received from this round of consultation would be shared at the next forum in late summer.
Stage 3 consultation for Sizewell C will run for 12 weeks from 4 January to 29 March 2019 and will include 14 exhibitions across East Suffolk.
The Sizewell C community forum
EDF Energy established a Sizewell C Community Forum for the discussion of local issues during the planning process between EDF Energy, elected representatives of the local community and other stakeholder groups on the proposed development of a new nuclear power station at Sizewell.
Brian Stewart, former chief executive of the East of England Regional Assembly, is the independent chairman of the Community Forum.